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I’m not suggesting there’s no more cold weather to come, but this has to be the shortest and mildest Melbourne winter in my living memory, which is getting on a bit now.

This morning, when I went on my stroll around the garden with a cup of coffee, about 7.15am, the sun was on the satsuma* plum tree we planted in 2011. And I suddenly noticed it already has buds – fairly established buds – and this reminded me of something I needed to do, to combat the imminent invasion of the dreaded cherry slug.

Buds

Last year, having spent many hours manually removing the bastards, my neighbour Jodee told me that, apparently, cherry slugs climb up from the base of the tree to destroy the leaves. And she said that she’d heard that putting a ring of vaseline around the trunk prevented them from climbing up it. Made sense to me. (Vaseline, by the way, is one of those brand names that has come to refer to the thing itself – petroleum jelly in other words.)

Petroleum jelly

Here’s one I grew earlier …

So, this morning I whacked a fair wodge of the above stuff right round the base of the plum tree. I’ll keep you posted as to whether it works. I expect you need to reapply it on occasion.

Vaseline on plum's trunk

The trunk of the plum with the vaseline: I had no idea how much to use, so I made the ring about 15cms high and about half a centimetre thick. All this can obviously apply to cherry trees too.

satsuma plum

The Satsuma Plum

If anyone else tries this on their cherry or plum trees and has success or otherwise, let me know via the contact form at The Buzz.

*I’ve given a little plug for The Diggers Club here, as they are worth it.

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